NGOs Nivesh and Himalayan Hub for Art and Culture presented the 16th edition of Kathakar International Storytellers festival with packed stellar line of storytellers from Japan, Australia, Mongolia, Poland and India.
The festival which started on 1 December was held in Sunder Nursery, Heritage Park at Nizammuddin till 3 December 2023. On 7 December, Kathakar presented ‘Hands on Fire’ a Piano recital by students from A R Rahman’s K M Music Conservatory at the Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre. President Smt. Droupadi Murumu was present on the occasion to bless the children and listen to their performance.
Earlier from 1 to 3 December there were performances by Kamishibai from Japan, “Tollu Bommallata” shadow puppetry from Andhra Pradesh, Warsi brothers and star artist AR Rahman, Imtiaz Ali, Mukesh Chhabra, Mohit Chauhan, Godfrey Duncan, Katy Cawkwell, aborigine storytellers Jodi Edwards and many others.
Kathakar – International Storytellers festival was started in 2010 under the aegis of UNESCO by NGOs Nivesh and HHACH to preserve and promote the ancient art of storytelling.
The festival has been supported by the Ministry of Culture since 2013 and we are extremely delighted to have them as our partner this year too.
Today after 13 years and 15 editions, the festival has become synonyms with the celebration of Indian and International storytelling in India and the rest of the world. Kathakar remains the first and only Oral Storytelling festival in India, which is organized every year in Delhi with special editions to Mumbai and Bengaluru. The festival has till date reached out to over 1,60,000 adults, children, teachers and parents.
The festival was inaugurated on 1 December 2023 by Oscar Awardee, A R Rahman, musical genius, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister Earth Sciences in the presence of singer Mohit Chauhan, director Mukesh Chhabra and other international storytellers.
In past the festival has been addressed by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Kiren Rijiju, Giriraj Singh, Meenakshi Lekhi, Vishal Bharadwaj, Mohit Chauhan, Manoj Bajpayee, Manoj Tiwari, Nandita Das, Sushma Seth, Deepti Naval, Imtiaz Ali, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Godfrey Duncan, Giles Abbott, Daniel Hall, Vergine Gulbenkian, Emily Hennessey, Xanthe Gresham, Dominic Kelly, Kamishi-bai, Uncle Larry, Emily Gravett, Sarah Rundle, Katy Cawkwell, Michal Malinowski, Jerzy Szufa, Emilia Raiter, Tim Ralphs, Muriel Bloc and many more.
The festival each year gets a diverse set of storytellers from India including Pandvani, Dastan-goi, Qissebazi, Powada, Allah-Udal, Kesar-saga. These stories are from far away land beyond seven seas and from countries such as Poland, UK, Sweden, Caribbean Islands, USA, Hungary, Australia, Japan, Mongolia, France, Turkey etc.
This year the festival hosted storytellers from Israel, Australia, Japan, Turkey, Poland, Columbia, United Kingdom, Mongolia and India. The special guests included A R Rehman, Imtiaz Ali, Mukesh Chhabra and Patron Mohit Chauhan. The folk music segment had the Warsi Brothers. The festival hosted storytelling sessions for children in the morning and general public in the evening. This time the festival engaged with an even larger number of schools/NGOs for the under-privileged, disadvantaged, disabled and the ailing and reached out to over 15,000 people and children.
The patron of the festival is well-known singer Mohit Chauhan who is also the Cultural Envoy of Mongolia to India.